Joseph Parry (21 May 1841 – 17 February 1903) was a Welsh composer and musician. Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, he is best known as the composer of Myfanwy and Aberystwyth (a hymn tune) used in Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika the National anthem of South Africa. The cottage at 4 Chapel Row, Merthyr Tydfil, where Parry was born, is now open to the public as a museum.
Parry was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1841. Parry's family emigrated to the United States in 1854, when he was 13, and he became an ironworker in Danville, Pennsylvania. There was a large Welsh community there and he became involved in strengthening Welsh culture locally, attending the Congregational Chapel and the Sunday school and competing in the eisteddfod. When, in 1865, he was admitted to the Gorsedd at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, he took the bardic name, "Pencerdd America".
He became a Freemason in 1867, while in Pennsylvania. His 1875 song, Ysgytwad y Llaw (The Handshake) appears to acknowledge his connection with the movement. He returned to Great Britain and studied music in London under William Sterndale Bennett and at the University of Cambridge. In 1873 he became Professor of Music at the University of Wales...
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